I've worked with both systems, and agree that the metric system is
easier to use.
I've already got wrench and socket sets in US and metric sizes, so
that's no problem. Oh, and Whitworth too - so I'm completely covered.
But - remember the adage about not changing horses in mid-stream?
I don't want to have to buy new taps and dies in metric sizes, except
for those few I already have. Gets expensive when you add in pipe
threads - although, from what I understand, even European pipe sizes
I don't want to have to buy new brace bits, Forstner bits and brad
point bits in metric sizes to fit metric dowels, plugs and bolts.
Metal bits? I've already got #1-80, A-Z, fractional through 1" and
some larger. Pretty good range of sizes, so all I have to do is
convert from the chart for metric tap drills. But that won't work for
things like dowel pins - so I guess I'd need sets of metric reamers as
well as the drills.
Fence markings on my table saw would be fairly easy to replace. But
the feedscrews and leadscrews on my lathe and milling machine are
another matter. Same with the lathe change gears.
When I buy plywood or wallboard for house repairs, it's nice to buy
sizes that fit those 12", 16" or 24" center spacings for joists, studs
and rafters. Sure would be a PITA to have to trim metric sized sheets
to fit. Same with dimensional lumber. It sure isn't much fun to add
to old framing made with 2 x 4s that were 1-5/8" thick or 1-3/4" thick
when those today are only 1-1/2".
Same goes for metalwork. I guess if I need a piece of bar stock or
plate to replace or modify an old US sized piece I can always buy the
next larger metric size and cut it down on the mill and surface
grinder. But I'd rather not have to. Surface grinder - have to
change the feedscrews and dials on that too.
I can buy new tapes, rules, micrometers, calipers, 1-2-3 blocks, etc.
But, again, I'd rather not have to.
New dado blades, milling cutters, etc. The investment grows.
Maybe we should go all the way and change away from our archaic units
of time, angle measurement, and so on. Put everything on base 10
systems. No more of this 24/7 stuff.
Yeah, it's a better system. It is easier. Use it all you want. Just
pray that it doesn't become mandatory here in your lifetime - or mine.
See, now that's the problem. We've got two ways of measuring the same
thing, and have to have seperate tools for each. I'm happy to stay with
the US system, or if we could switch over to Metric it'd sure solve a lot
of duplication problems.
No, it won't happen over night. My guess is it will take 3 or 4
generations to completely change over. There will still be a need for US
sized tools though, for machinery such as steam locomotives and old
combines that need to be worked on and not changed over for historic
Take a bit of advice from a frazzled Physics student: Unit conversions
are bad enough with one measurement system. Don't throw another one in!
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.
To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
Accuracy? Lots of measuring devices are marked in 64s. Don't know if
metric things are marked in part millimeters or not but if not, a mark
would be 1/25.4".
I agree 10ths make more sense but I'm too old to change...I bought a
IMHO it all sounds the same. Was that 250 Millimeters, Centimeters, etc.?
What is wrong with fractions?
What do you get when you subtract 374 mm from 47 cm? What is half of 383
IMHO metric is simply a different distance but no easier.
That's pretty much how I see it too. The 'metric' generation can't
make change at a cash register without a calculator, and that money
has been metric forever.
My daughters are all totally metric, as I once was. But still, when
they were talking about a 1 metre high hedge, I had to convert to
about 3 feet before I had a concept of the heigth of that hedge.
3 Feet is about 'that' high...one metre?? WTF?
Bingo! I've been using, thinking, and visualizing Imperial units for
over 50 years now and whenever I encounter metric units other than the
basics, I have to convert to imperial. IOW - 33 or 56 inches is easy
to visualize, but not 84 or 142 cm.
I've worked in the civil engineering field for over 30 years, and
visualization is very important in order to get a feel for the job,
and recognize incorrect answers when you see them.
As someone who was taught to "make change" in the 3rd grade and later
worked "retail" while in highschool, "making change" became a way of
Today, when I make a retail transaction and hand the clerk, excuse me,
they call them "associates" don't they, an odd amount so I will not
get a handful of change back, I get the strangest looks.
It is only when they enter the amount in the register that there is
any recognition of what just happened.
LOL ... The tab is $1.96 ... you give the clerk two dollar bills and a
penny, and they look at you like "What the hell do I do now?"
As long as we have electricity, who needs money?
... just returning from the post office where I paid $1.14 in postage with
my handy dandy debit/check card and thus don't have to deal with a pocket
full of "change" ... plus I've forgotten what real money looks like.
(Actually, I did see an American coin the other day I had to look twice at
to tell what it was ... never thought I'd see the day).
There is also one other MAJOR benefit to plastic, particularly if there is a
preponderence of females in the house ... no "real" money in your pockets to
Sounds like the voice of experience, eh? Yabbut, big difference ... one's
entirely voluntary; and you don't reach in your pocket knowing damn well
there _was_ a twenty in there yesterday.
... well maybe not that "big" a difference ... at the end of the month. :)
Its a crying shame, A freind and I went into a Washington Mutual bank a few
years back. He was cashing a check and I spied a book for storing all the
state quarters. I bought the book from the "clerk"/vice president?, and the
total was $20.17. I gave him 2 tens, and a quarter, and 2 pennies. He had
to walk over to a calculator to determine that he owed me 15 cents, which he
did not. He had a great explanation, take the 2 pennies from from the 17
cents and then subtract the result from the quarter, and you get 15 cents,
which was again wrong. Another trip to te the calculator to get the same
wrong reaults and finally I explained that the formulas was correct but the
answer was wrong. His response, calculators are not wrong. My response was
the answer is wrong because you don't know how to enter the number or do
simple math in your head.
We both won, he still gave me 15 cents change and I ended up with too much
Again, this was a bank employee.
If you use a credit card and something goes wrong, you dispute it and
retain the use of your money while the dispute.
If your credit card gets stolen and unauthorized charges are made, it
is the credit card companies responsibility to clean it up.
If you use a debit card is used, payment is instantenous.
If something goes wrong, you are on your own.
If the debit card is stolen and they drain your account, it's your
As I said, just another way for the credit card company to screw you.
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